Tears, or How a failed scientific experiment becomes a performance
Performance for Trueque Festival, organized by ArtÓn. Madrid, April 2012.
Based on the idea to study how a certain material would react to being acted upon by another material, I decide to perform the following experiment: How do different types of school paper react to the action of a tear.
I collect tears in a little container with a dropper. It is a difficult task to cry on cue, so I help the process by applying tiger balm and pieces of onion near my eyes. I pluck a few of my nose hairs out with tweezers and the first tears emerge quickly. After this the audience members help me by plucking more nose hairs. For a long time, I continue to collect my tears, which are mixed with onion juice and tiger balm.
When I have finished this process, I place six types of red paper on the table. I apply a ‘drop of tear’ on each paper. I observe how the tear performs on each paper: the shape and size of the stain, texture, or absorption time. I write the results down. This process takes two hours as some papers are waterproof and the tear needs time to evaporate, something that becomes more complex as the temperature goes down.
Finally, I try to remember when I cried in school, and why, and I write this down on the paper. I hang on the wall the six red papers with the notes of the tear study beside the sheet where I wrote my sad school memories.
(Thanks Ana Matey for her photos and Paco Nogales for his comments)